[Marxism] Boycott Israel?
Jscotlive at aol.com
Jscotlive at aol.com
Thu Aug 9 07:45:02 MDT 2007
I'll defend Chris Harman's piece here. I actually think a boycott is
probably a good idea, and SR has written supportively of such moves by the
Palestinians. However, what Harman is saying here is absolutely correct If
this tactic is to be used, it isn't a panacea, and it should not be allowed
to divide activists between two-staters (most people) and one-staters (a
committed few). This is the caveat that Harman is raising: he isn't saying
at all, anywhere, that a boycott isn't itself the way forward.
Nobody anywhere has stated that a boycott is a panacea. But it is absolutely
necessary as part of a combined strategy to internationalise the Palestinian
struggle. As to dividing activists, how would a boycott do that precisely?
Two-staters and one-staters are equally in support of Palestinian human
rights, I would have thought. So how would a boycott divide them, given that it's
about furthering that precise cause?
He says that the
boycott did not in itself end apartheid, and that's quite right.
That may be, but it did constitute a vital component in conjunction with
internal resistance to the ending of apartheid, of that there is no doubt.
that the Zionist lobby hopes to maximise confusion and use this tactic to
split Palestine's supporters, and that's also quite right. He does not say
that the motion should never have been passed, or that one should never
consider a boycott: he warns against walking into a massive elephant trap.
The Zionist lobby must be confronted at every opportunity. By continuing to
avoid any tactic that might mobilise them, we play right into their hands. The
effectiveness of any tactic in support of the Palestinians is measured in
the size and ferocity of the reaction it attracts from the Zionist lobby. That
they are so up in arms over the resolutions passed by the UCU is significant.
The thrust of the article is that a boycott is a tactic, and not a
principle. That shouldn't be a matter of controversy.
The thrust of the article is concern over the possibility of a boycott
against Israel offending the middle class sensibilities of the peacenicks and
CNDers who've seized control of the Stop The War Coalition and who've rendered it
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